Host Karlsruhe wins the Hochschulbowl!
The outcome of the tournament was open until the very end. It was not until the last game that the two teams from Mannheim and Karlsruhe, who had been undefeated up to that point, met and thus fought until the very end for the title of German university champion.
In the final match of the tournament, everything would be decided. The Karlsruhe Engineers started with a strong offense and were already in front of the Mannheim end zone after only a few plays. However, the Mannheim Knights, who traveled to Karlsruhe this year with a large squad, were able to intercept a pass into the end zone, preventing Karlsruhe from scoring their first points. Mannheim's offense, now in possession of the ball due to the turnover, was similarly strong and moved the ball just as quickly across the field. They quickly found themselves just outside the Karlsruhe end zone, where Mannheim's dreaded short-range lineup came onto the field. With concentrated power, the Mannheim team then pushed the ball the last few yards into the end zone and took the lead. However, lineman Benjamin Busse was able to block the kick for the extra point and so it was 0:6 from the hosts' point of view. Facing this deficit, the Karlsruhe team regained possession of the ball. The Engineers, this year also with a wider squad than last year, could convince with both running and passing and so it did not take long until it was this time a player of their own team who could catch the ball in the end zone. Karlsruhe then took a 7:6 lead with a converted extra point. Mannheim, for their part, again strived to score points, but this time could be stopped by the Karlsruhe defense. With a second touchdown, Karlsruhe then extended the lead to 14:6 before the first half came to an end.
After the halftime break, the Knights were under pressure to reduce the deficit. This time, however, it was Karlsruhe who put the first points on the board. This allowed the Engineers to extend their lead to 21-6. Unimpressed by the deficit, Mannheim turned up the pace offensively again and moved the ball continuously towards the end zone. Arriving in the redzone, however, this time it was Mannheim's quarterback who got the ball to the wrong man. Guido Pietrula was able to intercept the ball in the end zone and then carried it right back across the field. From this promising position it was not difficult for the Engineers to score again. Paul Sieffert scored his third touchdown of the game to increase the lead to 29:6. With this turn of events, the game was almost decided. The Mannheim Engineers were able to reduce the deficit again to 29:13, but there was no time left for another chase and so the Karlsruhe Engineers won the last match.
The Karlsruhe Engineers thus kept their clean slate and finished the tournament with four wins in four games. The Mannheim Knights, who only suffered a defeat in their last match, took a strong second place. The Aachen Rocktes, who competed for the first time in 2012 and stormed straight to second place, delivered another strong showing in 2013. After a dramatic game against Mannheim, which ended with a 29:31 defeat for Aachen, it was only enough for third place this time. Last year's winners from Paderborn had personnel problems this year and could only achieve fourth place with a very thin squad. In view of the fact that only 17 players arrived, this was nevertheless a very respectable performance. Winner of the hearts, also in view of their again along-traveled and highly motivated cheerleaders, were the HSU Snipers from the Federal Armed Forces University from Hamburg. Without any victories on the field, however, it was unfortunately only enough for the Hamburgers for a last place.
After two days with best weather and a lot of good mood on and off the field, we can only draw a positive summary for the 24th Hochschulbowl. We thank all organizers and participants for their support and look forward to seeing you again next year. In 2014 the Hochschulbowl will take place in Paderborn.
(Pictures (c) Jan Patrick Münch 2013)
1st match day, Saturday, 15.6.2013
Matchday 2, Sunday, 16.6.2013